Saturday, February 25, 2012

A FORM OF EVOLVED CONTEMPLATION


"My work is a form of evolved contemplation. If you live in nature for a time, you have almost mystical experiences. You get into a state of lyrical excitement and become part of the things that are happening around you: the grass quivering, the birds singing. On a sunny day there is an extraordinary feeling of energy, as light dazzles, bees buzz, birds dart, lizards slither. Nature moves through your veins in a spiritual way, and then the work of art flows out like birdsong" - John Wolseley



The Wolseley quote echoes the way I feel about making art. Since it is nearly Autumn I'm preparing to move outdoors to carve again. It is my time to connect with nature and produce my best carvings. I'm feeling the flutterings of anticipation!



The artists I've featured in this post share a similar bond or affinity with nature. Lori Goodman's amazing paper pod pieces caught my eye and when I found her website I also fell in love with her stacked paper installations. She makes her own kozo paper from Japanese mulberry bark to use in her work.


"For many years I have made paper and loved doing so. I enjoy the connection to its history, the knowing that for thousands of years something has been made so simply and yet has such an amazing impact on our world. Yet often I deny the medium, focusing only on the "art", the "message". As I began to make the paper for this exhibit, I became very aware of the process. The meditation and rhythm and the absolute beauty of the paper itself became of primary importance" - Lori Goodman


"Creating from and with nature has long been a way for me to stay connected to myself and my environment." - Liz McAuliffe




To give you an idea of size, Liz McAuliffe stands next to her beautiful carved pieces. To see a wonderful video about Liz and her work, click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

GOATS ON BICYCLES IN AFRICA

For millions of people in Africa walking is the only source of transportation. Having a bicycle certainly make's life easier! There are many projects underway to collect surplus bicycles and send them to the areas where they are needed most. Check out the Village Bicycle Project on Face Book here.

A woman in Ghana whose life has been transformed by The Village Bicycle Project. Read more here.

Now to get back to the goats ...... Call me weird (and many people do), but I collect images of goats on bicycles in Africa. For some reason they really tickle me. Here in South Africa it's not unusual to see bicycles loaded with all manner of objects and livestock. I can remember as a child when the family went out for a Sunday drive my mom often pointed out bicycles laden to the hilt ... saying "Do you see how lucky you are kids? You could be driving into the country on my handlebars if we didn't have a car". Of course at that stage in our lives we rather liked the idea of riding out into the country on someones handlebars.


Baby on Board, Namibia.


Throughout Africa bicycles are modified for different applications. Contraptions, trailers or wagons are added for ambulance services (above), or border hopping delivery services (below).

Tanki Mohapeloa talks about his Cross-border Transport Service... "I can carry a bed with this wagon ... from Lesotho to South Africa". Read about a Cape Town project here.

"On the border of Lesotho we found a few industrious guys like Tanki Mohapeloa selling their cross-boarder transport services to people who don't see the need to go through border control just to deliver goods to family and friends on the other side. Tanki and his colleagues can cross the border on their modified bicycles many times a day without problems - everyone there knows them well..." - Stan Engelbrecht

Read about FABIO, another bicycle related program here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

THE DOORS IN BETWEEN

This mysterious door is in Ethiopia. Photo taken by Eileen Delhi. Click here to see Eileen's Flickr photostream.

"In the Universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors" - William Blake

Another door in Ethiopia by Eileen Delhi. Click to see more here.

Yet another of my passions...

Doors and doorways in Africa.


A doorway in Egypt. Found on Tumblr with no credit or links.

Many are mysterious....

Giraffe Manor, Kenya.

..... or there's a magnificent animal

or two

wandering through.

Elephants at Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia. See story here.

Watch this video. It will make your day!

And then there are the carved doors of Mali, which I love most of all.

Yendouma Ato, Dogon Country, Mali by Xavier Ceccaldi


Dogon Door found here.

This breathtaking door is in a museum in The States but I've not found the link.

Letterboxes have doors so I am adding this video to the post. Another amazing story to give you goosebumps. Thanks Marg for sending it to me.

Strathewen: The Letterbox Project from ABC Open Goulburn Valley on Vimeo.


"There is a door. It opens. Then it is closed. But a slip of light stays, like a scrap of unreadable paper left on the floor, or the one red leaf the snow releases in March" - Jane Hirshfield

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TURN WHEEL TURN



I sit in front of the computer,
captivated by images.
Minutes turn into hours.
It suddenly occurs to me that
my life is ticking away
while I sit transfixed.
Day into night into day
and though I sleep at the usual time
the next day finds me
back in front of the computer .
Should I be worried
that I'm perfectly happy
enclosed in a box,
while the world keeps turning
on the other side of these four walls ...
or so it seems.



Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
to something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I'm loving the wheeled contraptions of Dina Merhav. Take a look at her website here.


Flight by Dina Merhav


Live Fence by Dina Merhav. See website here.


Magdalena Abakanowicz

Mari Skarp. See website here.


Dandelion by Jake Beckman. See more bicycle art here.


Look carefully for the bicycles in this piece by Arman. Website here.